Hartley's DIY Blog

A Homeowners Guide to Furnace Filters

Most people know that they have a filter somewhere near their furnace that they need to change on a periodic basis. Usually this is a 1″ filter that can be easily changed. But most people don’t know that there are other options available when it comes to furnace filters. The best part is that even if you have just a standard filter, you can usually install any of these filters with some minor air duct adjustments

One Inch Filters Work – Sort Of

Your typical 1″ filter that people are most familiar with only remove about 5-8% of the bad things flying around the air in your home. For the most part, this type of filter is only removing the larger dust particles in the air. A pleated version may filter a little more, but usually all they do is restrict air flow, which means your furnace works harder and costs more to operate. If your home has allergy sufferers, this filter is typically not for you. Plus, this filter really needs to be changed on a monthly basis, and with our busy schedules it usually gets forgotten.

Media Filters Work Better, and Make Air Cleaner

5" Media Filter PhotoThere are also media filters available, which typically comes in 4″ or 5″ sizes, depending on the brand you choose. This filter has more surface area to capture particles, so it will remove about 85% of what is in the air. This type of filter starts to take out mold spores and some bacteria, so it can really help allergy sufferers breathe easier. This is also a filter that can be change more infrequently – about 2-3 times per year.

Electronic Air Filters Work The Best – and Get It All

Electronic air cleaner photoThe best type of filter on the market is an electronic air filter. This type of filter uses electricity to draw and kill 99.9% of the particulate matter in your home. This filter is designed to get it all: mold, bacteria, allergens, pet dander, and even the flu virus. This is the filter you have if you are an allergy sufferer, because it can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of the air. This type of filter also works well with homes that have small children. As we are painfully aware, kids in school tend to bring home every germ possible during the school year. This results in sick kids that spreads throughout your home. An electronic air cleaner can help with this.

Contact Hartley’s Climate Control today if you have any questions regarding the type of air cleaner that is best for you and your home. We are always happy to talk about clean air!

December 9th, 2015

Posted In: Furnace, Uncategorized

3 Fast Furnace Tips to Try before Calling for Service

We have all had the scenario where we wake up in the morning in winter and the house is COLD! The first thought that pops in your head is that: “Oh no. The furnace is broken. I’m sure this will be expensive”. Well, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes it could be something really simple that you could check yourself to get you up and running again. Here are 3 tips you can try before calling your repair company.

Check Your Filter

Furnaces are built with safety features already as part of your system. And one of the main ones is designed to shut your furnace off if it gets too hot. One of the main culprits of this is a dirty filter. If your furnace doesn’t have enough air blowing through the system, it will actually get hotter than normal and shut off to protect your home.

Dirty filters really block the flow of air coming to your furnace, so its really important to change them on a regular basis. Plus, when your filter is dirty, your furnace has to work harder, which means it is costing you way more than necessary in heating bills.

Look At Your Thermostat

A lot of programmable and digital thermostats these days have batteries in them. If you go to your thermostat and don’t see anything there, gently open the cover and see if there are batteries there. If so, replace them and turn the thermostat back on.

It may also be as simple as turning the thermostat back to heat. Maybe someone was adjusting the thermostat and forgot to turn it back on.

Check The Power Supply

Even with a gas furnace, you need electricity to make it work. For most gas furnaces, there is a stuff of switch somewhere near your furnace. It will look exactly like a light switch, and sometimes they get turned off either by a service technician, or even accidentally when you may have been cleaning up around your utility room. Sometimes even children will switch it off while they may be playing in the basement. Check that, and you may be able to “flip on” your heat!

Check these three things, and if your furnace still won’t work, call Hartley’s Climate Control, and we will send a technician out fast to get you warm and cozy again!

December 9th, 2015

Posted In: Furnace, Uncategorized

Should you be concerned with AN OLDER FURNACE?

As time goes on, the furnace in your home can get old and cranky. It may take longer to heat your home or start making noises that make you feel uncomfortable. The truth is, as furnaces get older, they do get less efficient AND less safe to operate.

Carbon Monoxide is a Dangerous Thing

As furnaces age, the parts within your furnace can start to break down. The main one that you have to be aware of is the heat exchanger. This is a part that you cannot see, but the heat exchanger is what gets hot inside your furnace, and then your furnace blower pushes area through the heat exchanger. The warm air is what then heats your home.

Over the lifespan of a furnace, as the heat exchanger fires over and over again, the metal can start to weaken. Eventually the metal can crack, which then leads to carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, and large amounts of it can be dangerous for you and your family. That’s why it is important to have your furnace checked every year as part of planned maintenance. A furnace tune-up can help identify these types of issues.

Older Furnaces Cost More to Run

As furnaces age, all the parts within a furnace start to get dirty and worn down. When this happens, your furnace has to work harder to produce the same amount of heat as it did before. When your furnace has to work harder, it uses more utilities in the way of gas and electricity to run. This then increases your energy bills.

Plus, the heating industry has started to produce high efficiency furnaces that can save you significant amounts of money. If you have a furnace 15 years or older, you can usually save 15 – 20% a year on your heating bills just by replacing your equipment. New furnaces also have technologies available that can actually make your home more comfortable as well.

Contact Hartley’s Climate Control, and we would be happy to answer any questions about that old furnace of yours!

December 9th, 2015

Posted In: Furnace, Uncategorized

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